Tampa Police Officer Fights Crime and Cancer

By Staff Writer - November 16, 2018

As an officer with the Tampa Police Department, it is Marcus Elam’s job to protect and serve his city. However, Officer Elam didn’t expect to be in a fight for his life because of cancer.

“I noticed that I was having night sweats, which was unusual considering the cool weather. Not only that, but I was feeling fatigue and had an elevated heart rate,” said Elam.

After visiting his doctor, Elam received the news he had Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.

Elam was treated with chemotherapy, but a year later his cancer returned. With the various options at Moffitt Cancer Center, Elam decided to undergo a stem cell transplant. Three weeks in the hospital gave Elam a second chance at life. 

Now, more than five years later,  Elam is healthy and participating in the 13th annual Miles for Moffitt presented by AutoNation. This year’s event takes place on Dec. 8 in downtown Tampa at Amalie Arena’s Ford Thunder Alley.

The annual run/walk allows the community to come together and fight a disease that has impacted the lives of many. Participants can join the 10K, 5K, 1-Mile Run/Walk, Wheelchair Race, or Kids Dash. For $100, participants can register as a VIP, which provides benefits such as preferred parking and a catered VIP area. And for those who can’t participate in person, they can register as a virtual runner instead.

Elam will be out in full force representing Team Shield at Miles for Moffitt.

“After my treatment at Moffitt, I was able to slip back into protecting Hillsborough County District 2 in my new position as the Crime Free Coordinator,” said Elam.

“Unfortunately, it is growing more common to know someone who has been touched by this crippling disease,” said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan. “We must take control and find a cure so that more individuals can triumph over cancer like Officer Elam.”

You can join Elam and his team, Team Shield, to help beat cancer. All are welcome to  join Miles for Moffitt, which starts on Channelside Drive and loops down Bayshore Boulevard, and back. Volunteers are also needed. All proceeds will benefit the cancer research at Moffitt. For registration and information, visit MilesForMoffitt.com.

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